We are busier than ever before and sometimes it feels impossible to take a break. This is exactly the time when we should be taking a break, says Dr Muireann Irish from Sydney University's School of Psychology and Brain and Mind Centre:
"Productivity these days is almost akin to being measured in a metric focused way. We are viewing it more as outputs and getting runs on the board rather than sometimes viewing it as the quality of the output itself,"
"I think that has to do with the change in accessibility that we have through technology. We are available all the time, and as a result, we are constantly bombarded by requests."
That leaves people multitasking. And most people are bad at it.
"Within the neuroscience literature, there is the view that multitasking is something of a misnomer. We don't really perform two tasks at the same time effectively. We tend to switch and toggle between the two and that comes with an attentional cost," Irish said.
"We find ourselves needing to catch up on the tasks that we have directed our attention away from. This means that we aren't giving focused attention to either one of those two tasks because we are constantly diverting our attention by switching between the two."
What people should be doing instead is taking time out to do absolutely nothing. This means sitting back and allowing their mind to wander.
"Because we are not focusing on one particular thing, we actually free up and loosen associations between different concepts and constructions. It has been found that these periods of incubation are where ideas or solutions can come together in creative and flexible ways," Irish said.